Mercedes-Benz A250

A beast in striking apparel

"After my taste of the A250 Sport, I’m yearning for more" said Issam

"The A250 is stunning, and that makes all the difference"

"An experience no words can easily quantify"

"It is quite obvious that AMG has had a hand in the development" 

When I’m asked to speak about the hot hatch that I desire, on top of my mind I mention the new Golf GTI 7th generation. But for all the GTI’s fame, it needed one fundamental element: looks that could kill you at first sight. That’s the flawlessly gorgeous Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport!

Driving Impressions
I collected my demo vehicle from T.Gargour & Fils, official distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Lebanon. With a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-pot under the hood, the A250 is an appropriately quick Mercedes-Benz. It may ride a little bit too hard over road imperfections in Beirut, but it does well in every other feature. The turbocharged 2.0 liter comes with 211 hp and 350 Nm of torque. The A250 does 0 to 100 kph in 6.6 seconds. On public roads in Beirut and even the tightest and blind corners when going up to the Cedars, the A250 handles superbly. I smack it around a few corners and I ran out of grip: feel and fun. Acceleration is surprisingly ferocious, and in Sport mode the throttle response is razor-sharp.

The A250 has sports tuned AMG suspension. For everyday usage, it will be a small issue and unfortunately there are no active damping systems to switch between harder and softer suspension settings. I that’s okay… not a big issue. But the thing I must mention is how pretty this car looks from the outside.

The spiral grille is one of its main significant features, paired with front and rear air diffusers emphasizing the fact that is a sporty body kit. It is quite obvious that AMG has had a hand in the development; as standard it comes with 18 inch AMG alloy wheels and AMG body styling.

The interior like every other Mercedes is built to an excessive standard. The sporty feeling is through the interior: red seatbelts (that I adored the most), rimmed vents, carbon fiber-look dash, AMG sport wheel and sports pedals. The front seats are comfortable, soft-touch surfaces are abundant and the key contact points - the Nappa leather wrapped steering wheel, those microfiber door cards - are luxuriously trimmed.

Part of the standard specification in the A250: the radar-based collision prevention assist safety system, the attention assist system and hill-start assist. Even more safety on request the distronic plus proximity control and the pre-safe system - technologies which can ensure that dangers keep their distance from you. Active parking assist makes a major contribution to safe and comfortable driving. It helps the driver to find a suitable parking space for parallel parking and to enter and leave parking spaces by active steering intervention. The integrated parktronic warns him if there are hidden obstacles in front of or behind the car.

The multimedia system boasts a TFT display with a 14.7 cm screen diagonal. Thanks to its integral CD drive both MP3 and WMA/AAC files can be played. As an option a 6-disc CD changer can be added to its specification. Audio 20 CD can be conveniently operated via the multifunction steering wheel and the controller in the center console and it includes an integral telephone keypad, a Bluetooth interface with a hands free function and a USB socket in the stowage compartment on the center console. Six loudspeakers bring you pristine listening experiences.

Verdict
With the A250 Sport, Mercedes-Benz has entered an entirely new segment by setting a fresh benchmark in the luxury compact segment with a powerful, sporty and luxuriously designed. You can just visit your nearest dealership around the Middle East and GCC to check out the car because the flagship of the A-Class range packs a lot into a small package. 

One word: yardstick
Pros: attractive, sporty engine performance, well equipped, responsive handling and braking, red interior trim highlights, panoramic roof standard
Cons: center command console screen not integrated with the rest of the interior
Rivals: VW Golf GTI, Audi S3 Sportback, BMW 125i, Ford Focus ST, Mini Countryman S

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